[Update 1: incorporates amended Senate statement] Sens Harry Reid (D-NV) and Max Baucus (D-MT) introduced legislation to extend the purchase closing date for the first-time homebuyer tax credit. The Senators’ push to extend the closing deadline joins efforts by the House of Representatives, who voted 409 to 5 in favor of its own version of the bill yesterday. It is expected the Senate could pass its bill today in time for a Presidential signature. The Senate and House bills extend the date new homebuyers already under contract must close by in order to qualify for the tax credit. The previous deadline of July 1 would be extended through September 30. “[W]e’re trying to extend the closing deadline for homebuyers in Nevada and across the country who have already qualified for the first-time homebuyer tax credit and need some extra time to close on their new home and experience the American Dream of homeownership,” Reid said in a statement. “These common-sense solutions to help millions of Americans deserve bipartisan support and should be passed swiftly.” According to the Senate statement, the provision is estimated to cost $140m over 10 years. The Senate bill also retroactively reinstates federal unemployment insurance benefits that expired at the end of May. Involuntarily unemployed Americans who lost their benefits at the end of May — as well as newly unemployed Americans — can qualify for unemployment insurance through November 2010. Write to Diana Golobay.

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